KKTV 11 News | Colorado Springs, Pueblo | Sports

North Dakota 8, Michigan 5

By: Jesse Kurtz
By: Jesse Kurtz

DENVER -- Michigan came in with the best offense in the nation.

However, North Dakota showed its offense is pretty good, too, as the Fighting Sioux knocked off Michigan 8-5 on Saturday night in the West Regional of the NCAA hockey tournament.

T.J. Oshie scored three goals -- including a short-handed goal with 2:11 remaining to seal the win -- and added an assist as North Dakota eliminated the Wolverines from the tournament for the second straight season. The Fighting Sioux beat Michigan 5-1 last season in Grand Forks, N.D.

North Dakota advanced to the regional championship Sunday against Minnesota, which beat Air Force 4-3 earlier in the day. North Dakota plays in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association with the Gophers and was 2-1 against Minnesota this season.

Chris Porter had two goals and an assist and defenseman Robbie Bina had a goal and two assists for North Dakota (23-13-5).

T.J. Hensick, the nation's points leader, had two goals and an assist for Michigan (26-14-1). He also drew a 10-minute misconduct penalty in the third period and watched most of the last-period action from the box. He finished the season with 23 goals and 46 assists.

Michigan entered the game as the highest-scoring team in the nation, averaging 4.22 goals a game. The Wolverines started both the first and second periods by scoring two goals in the opening 58 seconds.

Each time, though, North Dakota recovered and led 4-3 after the first period and 7-5 after the second.

The Fighting Sioux took advantage of Michigan's propensity for drawing penalties, converting 5 of 8 power-play opportunities through the first two high-scoring periods. North Dakota has the fourth-best power play in the nation.

In a game that featured tons of offense, one of the biggest plays of the game was when Fighting Sioux goalie Philippe Lamoureux stymied Hensick on a breakaway midway through the second period. It kept North Dakota's 7-5 lead in check.

Lamoureux also made two big saves on Michigan's Jack Johnson early in the third period.

North Dakota had quite a turnaround this season. The Fighting Sioux started the season 7-10-1 but were a different team after winter break in late December, going 16-3-4 the rest of the way.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press


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